Flame under the bubbling water.  
Blue flame. Water ready for tea.
Amber infusion soon to be seeping, 
Leaves about to uncurl. Here 
Is a tin, a spoon, a cup, an open 
Teapot saying, Nobody else but me
To nobody else but you: awaken, 
Pour. What are you waiting for?

Copyright © 2017 by Phillis Levin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 15, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem
“Though ‘Kettle’ encapsulates a morning ritual of brewing tea, I happen to be an avid coffee drinker—and a night owl—by nature. But I thoroughly enjoy making and drinking tea, especially Assam. And watching a low steady flame do its work, following the behavior of water as it comes to a boil, are pleasures in themselves. When the initial phrases bubbled up, I had no idea where this poem would go; now I see how its closing invokes the final turn of Rilke’s sonnet, ‘Archaic Torso of Apollo.’ An immobile object can initiate a conversation within oneself, a conversion of sorts: a common household item may beckon us, by virtue of its presence, to start anew."
—Phillis Levin